Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Puritans on Providence

There are three things in providence: God's foreknowing, God's determining, and God's directing all things to their periods and events.
Thomas Watson
Why God's providences are often misunderstood?
Take a straight stick, and put it into the water; then it will seem crooked. Why? Because we look upon it through two mediums, air and water: there lies the deceptio visus; thence it is that we cannot discern aright. Thus the proceedings of God, in His justice, which in themselves are straight, without the least obliquity, seem to us crooked: that wicked men should prosper, and good men be afflicted; that the Isrealites should make the bricks, and the Egyptians dwell in the houses; that servants should ride on horse-back, and princes go on foot: these are things that make the best Christians stagger in their judgments.
And why? Because they look upon God's proceedings through a double medium of flesh and spirit, so that all things seem to go cross, though indeed they go right enough. And hence it is that God's proceedings, in His justice, are not so well discerned, the eyes of man alone being not competent judges thereof.
Thomas Fuller
When it is providence versus promise?
God is to be trusted when His providences seem to run contrary to His promises. God promised David to give him the crown, to make him king; but providence turns contrary to His promise; David was pursued by Saul, was in danger of his life; but all this while it was David's duty to trust God. The Lord doth oftentimes, by cross providence, bring to pass His promise. God promised Paul the lives of all that were with him in the ship; but now the providence of God seems to run quite contrary to His promise; the winds blow, the ship splits and breaks in pieces; and thus God fulfilled His promise; upon the broken pieces of the ship, they all come safe to shore. Trust God when providences seem to run quite contrary to promises.
Thomas Watson
Their wisdom:
God made meat before mouths.
John Trapp

1 comment:

Lauren Christine said...

Wonderful Post!